In Whom We Trust

Public Reading: Luke 12:1-12

The Story:

•    We are nearing the end of Jesus life

o    You will notice that the writing of St. Luke is shifting slightly.
o    Instead of talking about Jesus’ actions, like he did at the beginning of the book, St. Luke is starting to record more and more of his teachings

•    We are also seeing the religious leaders get more and more upset with Jesus

o    At first they were just curious about this new teacher
o    Now they are mad at him because of two main teachings

*    Jesus is telling the wrong people (sinner, tax collectors, etc.) that they can find salvation without going to the temple
*    Jesus is calling out their secret sins

o    In other words, their jobs and their reputation were being threatened by Jesus.

•    The crowds, on the other hand, were increasing

o    They kept coming and coming and coming
o    So much so that St. Luke says, “they were tramping on each other.” (vs 1, TKNT)

•    In the middle of all this, Jesus turns to his disciples and says:

“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. –Luke 12:1c-3

•    Why? What is Jesus saying?

o    Think about this, the Pharisees and the religious leaders used to be the top dogs in the yard.

*    They had all the best seats in the house
*    They had folks coming to them
*    Now the crowds are going to Jesus

o    As such, I see Jesus cautioning the disciples that if they are not careful, they will become like very religious leaders they warned the people about.

*    Fame is a funny thing in that if you are not careful, you begin to think that you are better than everyone else.
*    Think about the Beatles or any of the famous musicians or movie stars

•    A lot of them start out as good people with a heart of gold
•    Yet the pressures and joys of fame does something to them
•    It turns down the wrong path – as we see in the nightly news

o    Jesus is cautioning the disciples to be careful

*    They are to know that whatever they say in private
*    Whatever back door conversations they have…. one day it will all be made know to the public
*    Think about Watergate….a few of the most powerful men in the world couldn’t keep a secret very long at all…

•    After warning them against become the very thing they are ‘fighting’ against, Jesus goes on:

4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.-Luke 12:4-5

•    Fame can make you do all kinds of stuff…

o    You get all kinds of pressure placed upon you – agents, friends, yourself, etc…
o    A lot of this pressure is geared towards keeping your name in the spotlight
o    Think about the current election

*    Each candidate is spending millions of dollars in polling data so that they know how to position themselves

•    Jesus is calling this followers to a different worldview

o    Instead of telling people what they want to hear, we are to tell them what they NEED to hear
o    Folks need to hear that following Jesus is the only way

*    That Jesus will bring healing to the broken hearted
*    That Jesus will deliver us from the bondage of our desires and passions
*    That Jesus will set us free from the things of the world
*    That Jesus is the only way to restore our relationship with the Creator God

o     Folks need to hear that

*    Life is valuable and killing of any sort is not good
*    Honestly is valuable and should be promoted
*    We are to forgive instead of seeking revenge
*    Sex is not a recreational activity, but something precious – a physical, emotional, and spiritual bond between a husband and a wife
*    Mercy, compassion, grace and love are powerful forces in the world and are not weak
*    People of all genders, races, and ages are valuable

•    Sadly this is a message that not everyone wants to hear

o    It is a message that may cause you to lose your job
o    It is a message that may get you laughed at
o    It is a message that may get you sidelined in the community
o    It is a message that got Jesus killed
o    It is a message that gets the followers of Jesus killed each day of each year

•    Yes, killed…

o    Right now there are over 200 million Jesus followers in at least 60 countries who are denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith

*    From the World Evangelical Alliance as reported by Release International

o    Here’s a sobering picture of what it means to follow Jesus

“The blood-spattered Bible on the cover of this newsletter is a graphic symbol of what it means to be a Christian in northern Nigeria.The Bible was retreived from the Deeper Life Church in Gombe state after a Jan. 5, 2012, attack by Boko Haram militants. Church leader Chenma Ngwaba was speaking during a Thursday evening prayer meeting when three young extremists suddenly began firing weapons through the church window. ‘They were shooting everybody there,’ said Chenma, who last his wife and 10-year-old son that night. Chenma’s six-month-old daughter survived, but eight other believers were killed, and more than 20 were injured.” VOM Newsletter, November 2012, pg. 3.

o    How are we going to live?

•    I know something hearing things about the persecute church seems strange and sub-real….

o    Yet, there is something powerful about knowing what the body of Christ can go through and still survive!
o    I know there is a lot of fear in our homes and communities right now because of the economy and the unknowns facing all of us

*    Sadly enough the current election has done more to increase that fear then lower it…

•    Let me tell you tell you a fact

o    No matter what happens on Tuesday (election day) Jesus will still be on the throne!!!
o    No matter what happens to this country, whether it continues as is or falls apart – Jesus will still be King
o    No matter what happens – the Church will continue to live out the message of Jesus!!!
o    That is a fact!!
o    Our hope is not in any political party or political leader – it is in Jesus the King!

6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. –Luke 12:6-7

o    St Paul puts it this way in 2 Timothy 1:7-8

7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

•    Let us be bold in walking out the message of Jesus

o    Let us be bold in speaking the things that Jesus tells us to say
o    Being scared is normal – it is ok – we all get nervous and scared
o    We just have to remember that Jesus has promised us that He will be with us each step of the way
o    He has also promised us that He will give us the words to say

11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” –Luke 12:11-12

•    Conclusion

o    I know today’s teaching has been a little tough…
o    It is not easy talking about such things….but it is necessary for each of us to be reminded of who we follow
o    We need to be reminded of where are hope is at – in whom we trust.

6 Now this I know:
The LORD gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 LORD, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!
-Psalms 20:6-9

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